I first spotted a grey hair in my early twenties and was a little bit shocked to say the least. It’s not that I hated grey hair or anything, it was the fact that I hadn’t even thought about it happening.
It’s not something you usually think about in your twenties…Have I got enough money to go out tonight – check, Do I have grey hair? – check!!
Being a very dark brunette, pretty much jet black hair, that grey hair stood out a mile and what with it’s different nature stood up very proudly on my head, but not for long as I yanked it out. Over the next few months I spotted more and I just wasn’t ready for them.
Being a low maintenance kind of girl, I popped along to Boots and bought some hair dye and applied it to my head. To be honest I really couldn’t tell the difference and the colour hadn’t changed either. My head got very itchy very quickly but just thought the dye had dried my hair out.
I woke in the middle of the night with what felt like a very stiff neck, I couldn’t move my head very much and my head was burning and weeping. I went to the mirror to check myself out. I got quite a shock, the reflection starring back at me looked like I had swallowed myself. My head and neck had swollen to twice their normal size and my eyes had swollen too. I looked like I had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson and hadn’t move from my bed.
Luckily I was at home with the parents for the weekend and I sheepishly knocked on their bedroom door at 4am in the morning (like I was 5 and going to tell them I don’t feel very well). I remember saying to my mum “Don’t worry and don’t turn the light on but I have a very swollen head” bang went on the light and I scared the living daylights out of all of us.
We drove to A&E straight away and got seen very quickly (I do love the NHS they have saved me on many an occasion.) The doctor was brilliant and put me on some very heavy steroids via a drip, and antihistamine and other medication to apply to my scalp. I was very lucky as my throat had started to swell and my breathing had got more restricted but we acted quickly and so did the hospital. It took about 2 weeks for all the swelling to go down and for me to be able to wash my hair.
The allergic reaction had occurred due to the allergy I had from the PPD’s in the Black Henna Tattoo I had a few years previously.
The moral of this story is:
Don’t get a black henna tattoo and always have a patch test done first when colouring your hair.